ArticlePDF Available

Relationship Between Passion and Motivation for Gaming in Players of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games


Abstract and Figures

Abstract Passion represents one of the factors involved in online video gaming. However, it remains unclear how passion affects the way gamers are involved in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). The objective of the present study was to analyze the relationships between passions and motivations for online game playing. A total of 410 MMORPG players completed an online questionnaire including motives for gaming and the Passion Scale. Results indicated that passionate gamers were interested in relating with others through the game and exhibited a high degree of interest in discovery of the game, gaining leadership and prestige but little interest in escape from reality. However, some differences were observed with respect to the role of the two types of passion in the different types of motivation. Specifically, harmonious passion (HP) predicted higher levels of exploration, socialization, and achievement, in that order, while obsessive passion (OP) predicted higher levels of dissociation, achievement, and socialization. The present findings suggest that HP and OP predict different ways of engaging in MMORPGs and confirm that passion is a useful construct to help understand different motivational patterns demonstrated by MMORPG players.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Relationship Between Passion and Motivation
for Gaming in Players of Massively Multiplayer
Online Role-Playing Games
He´ ctor Fuster, MSc,
Andre´ s Chamarro, PhD,
Xavier Carbonell, PhD,
and Robert J. Vallerand, PhD
Passion represents one of the factors involved in online video gaming. However, it remains unclear how passion
affects the way gamers are involved in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). The
objective of the present study was to analyze the relationships between passions and motivations for online
game playing. A total of 410 MMORPG players completed an online questionnaire including motives for
gaming and the Passion Scale. Results indicated that passionate gamers were interested in relating with others
through the game and exhibited a high degree of interest in discovery of the game, gaining leadership and
prestige but little interest in escape from reality. However, some differences were observed with respect to the
role of the two types of passion in the different types of motivation. Specifically, harmonious passion (HP)
predicted higher levels of exploration, socialization, and achievement, in that order, while obsessive passion
(OP) predicted higher levels of dissociation, achievement, and socialization. The present findings suggest that
HP and OP predict different ways of engaging in MMORPGs and confirm that passion is a useful construct to
help understand different motivational patterns demonstrated by MMORPG players.
Video games constitute one of the leisure activity
sectors that has grown the most in the last decade.
of the greatest contributors to this growth has been the mas-
sively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), a
genre that includes those online games involving a computer-
based simulated environment through which geographically
separated individuals interact by means of virtual represen-
tations (avatars) and have the ability to use and create objects.
Video games of this type bring together more than 22 million
players worldwide.
Given the magnitude and constant growth of MMORPGs,
it is necessary to determine the mechanisms structuring this
activity. In this respect, there has been research into player
positive and negative impacts
of playing,
and personality profiles of players.
A recent review of the literature has revealed the diversity
of players’ motives for playing MMORPGs.
According to
Yee, players play MMORPGs to socialize with others, to
gain achievement, or to immerse into an alternative world.
Demetrovics et al.
identified seven motivations: social,
escape, competition, coping, skill development, fantasy, and
recreation. These dimensions overlap with those found by
Yee. A subsequent study by Fuster et al. identified four in-
trapersonal and interpersonal motives: socialization (i.e., to
make friends and provide mutual support while playing the
game), exploration (i.e., to discover the virtual environment
and participate in the mythology of the game and the ad-
ventures the game offers), achievement (i.e., seeking to
achieve one’s goals during the game), and dissociation (i.e.,
to avoid/escape reality while playing the game).
zation and achievement are similar to two of the factors
identified by Yee,
but exploration and dissociation split up
Yee’s immersion factor.
Some studies have regarded MMORPGs as opportunities
for making contact and socialization with other people.
One of the main components of the motivation for sociali-
zation is that of making new friends, whether through ad hoc
groups or through formal hierarchical groups, known as
Socialization in the context of a MMORPG in-
volves resolving challenges or quests that the game presents
with the help of other people, jointly discovering the features
and adventures offered by the MMORPG and, consequently,
Department of Psychology, Universidad Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain.
Department of Psychology, Universidad Auto
´noma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
Volume 17, Number 5, 2014
ªMary Ann Liebert, Inc.
DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2013.0349
sharing in achievements made by the guild as a whole.
relation to this social aspect of playing, Longman et al.
showed that social support among World of Warcraft players
was associated with fewer negative psychological symp-
toms and with greater well-being.
Boyle et al. analyzed the multifactorial nature of en-
gagement in digital entertainment games, including
MMORPGs, and recommended the use of rigorous theoret-
ical models because previous research tends to comprise lists
of features rather than coherent theoretical models.
The Dualistic Model of Passion is a new attempt to explain
how individuals experience inclination toward an activity in
which they invest time and energy.
The model distin-
guishes between harmonious passion (HP) and obsessive
passion (OP). Both types of passion refer to the tendency to
engage in an activity that the person likes or even loves and is
important to them, to the point of becoming an activity in-
volving identification, in which they invest considerable time
and energy. HP involves an interest to engage in some ac-
tivity through their own volition that does not decline while
engaged in the activity. OP, on the other hand, refers to an
uncontrollable urge forcing the individual to engage in the
activity that one loves. Recent studies support the use of the
Dualistic Model of Passion to understand how people en-
gage in online video gaming and its effects.
In general,
studies on passion reveal that despite the fact that both forms
of passion are usually present while video gaming, only HP
is positively related to wanting to play as well as game en-
joyment, postplay energy, and self-realization.
Utz et al.
showed that HP was positively related to socialization.
on the other hand, predicts the negative aspects associated
with video gaming, such as the urge to play as well as the
amount of time spent playing, states of postgame tension,
and low levels of enjoyment of the game.
studies provide support for the generalizability of the Dua-
listic Model of Passion and suggest that passion represents
one of the factors involved in online video gaming. However,
it remains unclear how passion is related to the way gamers
are involved motivationally in digital gaming because HP
and OP may be activity specific.
Previous studies have used motivations for analyzing
gamers engagement and styles of play,
and others have
examined the independent effects of the two types of passion,
but no studies have analyzed how online gamers with differ-
ent passions experience different motivations while playing.
Also, as Vallerand et al. proposed, passion may influence the
contextual–motivational processes that are central for under-
standing behaviour.
However, the role of passion in pre-
dicting motivations experienced when engaged in MMORPGs
represents a key question
that to date has not yet been ad-
dressed. The purpose of the present study was to study the
relationship between passion and motivations for online video
gaming. On the basis of the above, we propose exploring how
the two types of passion are related to the different motivations
for engaging in MMORPGs identified by Fuster et al.
Previous research has shown that HP is related to co-
operating to achieve common goals in game missions and
social interactions,
and unrelated to escaping from life
In light of the above, it was hypothesized that
HP would be positively related to exploration, socialization,
and achievement, but unrelated to dissociation. On the other
hand, in light of the fact that OP is positively related to
escaping from life situations,
and either unrelated or neg-
atively related to relationships,
it was hypothesized that OP
would be positively related to dissociation, achievement, and
socialization, but unrelated to exploration (see Fig. 1).
Sampling was carried out for 1 month via MMORPG
gaming communities. A message was posted in the general
forum of each community that invited gamers to respond to
an online questionnaire. There was also a request to forward
the post to other players. During the sampling period, a total
of 430 Spanish-speaking MMORPG players between 16 and
45 years of age completed the questionnaire (410 men, 20
women). In light of the low number of women, female re-
sponses were not taken into account due to their low repre-
sentation in the sample (4.87%). The final sample consisted
of 410 male players with a mean age of 26.49 years
(SD =6.78). Participants had been playing MMORPGs on
average for 6.06 years (SD =3.04) and had been playing their
current MMORPG for an average of 2.56 years (SD =2.29).
The most popular games were World of Warcraft (32%),
Lord of the Rings Online (22%), Rift (16.6%), EVE Online
(11.5%), Aion (5.1%), DC Universe Online (4.1%), and other
less popular MMORPGs (9.8%). The average number of
hours played per week was 22.38 (SD =13.82); 18.5% spent
10 hour or less per week playing MMORPG, 37.8% spent
between 11 and 20 hours, 22.4% between 21 and 30 hours,
10.5 % between 31 and 40 hours, and 10.7% of players spent
more than 40 hours playing per week.
Demographics. The questionnaire asked for information
about gender, age, which game they played, and how often
they played (distinguishing weekdays and weekends).
The Passion Scale. The Passion Scale was used to
measure passion in regard to the game.
The instrument
consists of two scales and four criterion items;, all of which
are evaluated using 7-point Likert items. The criterion items
establish the degree to which the player likes the activity (item
1), values the activity (item 2), dedicates time and energy to it
(item 3), and considers it a passion (item 4). In the present
study, these four items were correlated (a=0.700). The first
FIG. 1. Hypothesized path model of massively multi-
player online role-playing game (MMORPG) playing in
terms of motivations and passions.
subscale (six items) measures HP (a=0.734), while the sec-
ond (six items) measures OP (a=0.853). The Passion Scale
has been shown in the past to have excellent psychometric
In the present study, acceptable levels of internal
consistency were found for the Passion subscales. Cronbach’s
alphas of the subscales are presented in Table 1 and were
Massively Multiplayer Online Games Motivations
Scale (MMO-MS). This scale was used to measure moti-
vations involved in playing with the different virtual worlds.
The MMO-MS is an adaptation of the World of Warcraft
adapted to each player’s reference virtual world.
The MMO-MS consists of 20 items divided into four sub-
scales: Socialization (three items), Exploration (five items),
Achievement (five items), and Dissociation (seven items).
Participants were requested to indicate for their favorite
MMORPG and their degree of agreement with each item.
Items were evaluated using a 7-point Likert scale. Cron-
bach’s alphas of the subscales are presented in column 4 of
Table 1. All Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were adequate. A
confirmatory factor analysis yielded an acceptable goodness
of fit index for a four-factor model reflecting the four moti-
vation subscales: (v
(164) =461.11; p<0.01; CFI =0.94;
IFI =0.94; RMSEA =0.06 [0.000–0.070]).
Sampling was achieved by contacting Spanish-speaking
forums dedicated to various MMORPGs: Aion-ESP,Rift-
ESP,JuegaEnRed,DCUO Hispano,WoW-ESP,Guild Wars
Latino,, and Comunidad Hispana. Players
were invited to participate by a message posted in the general
or ‘‘off-topic’’ sections of the various forums. The message
included a brief explanation of how to answer the ques-
tionnaire and an image that contained a link to it. The mes-
sage also included a request to forward the questionnaire
to other players. The scales were adapted to permit im-
plementation using the LimeSurvey free software (www., which allows the dynamic design of
questionnaires in PHP and CSS formats. When a participant
accessed the questionnaire, they were shown a page titled
‘‘Informed Consent’’ that stated that by clicking the ‘‘next’
button, they agreed to participate in the research and answer
the questions. This page also informed the participants that
their responses would remain anonymous and that they could
stop their participation voluntarily at any time without pen-
alty. Duplicate participation was controlled for via ‘‘cook-
ies’’ and IP filtering. Answers were recorded in a MySQL
database hosted on the servers provided by LimeSurvey.
Responses were imported from the LimeSurvey host servers
to a database compatible with the statistical packages IBM
SPSS Statistics v19.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY) and EQS
6.1 (Multivariate Software, Inc., Encino, CA). Path analysis,
with maximum likelihood estimation, was used to test the
hypothesized model. Conventional criteria were used to as-
sess the fit of the hypothesized model to the observed data.
Adequate fit was inferred when TLI and CFI were >0.95,
RMSEA was <0.06, and SRMR was <0.08.
The means and standard deviations as well as the inter-
correlations of the measures are displayed in Table 1. HP and
OP correlated together only weakly. In general, gamers
scored higher on HP than on OP.
The hypothesized model was tested by a path analysis
where HP was hypothesized to be positively related to ex-
ploration, relationships, and achievement but unrelated to
dissociation, while OP was hypothesized to be positively
related to dissociation, achievement, and socialization but
unrelated to exploration. In addition, covariances were
freed between the two types of passion and among all
motivations except exploration and socialization on the
one hand and dissociation on the other. Due to the cross-
sectional design and the potential for multiple models to
provide adequate fit to the data, a theoretically viable al-
ternative model was previously tested. In this alternative
model, HP is a positive predictor of socialization and ex-
ploration, two motives with positive consequences, and OP
is a positive predictor of achievement and dissociation,
which are expected to be motives with negative conse-
quences. In this model, all the motives are assumed to be
correlated. Additionally, a replication of the proposed
model was carried with World of Warcraft players and
players of the other MMORPGs.
Results are presented in Figure 2. Fit indexes demon-
strated that the theoretically alternative model did not show
an adequate fit. However, the hypothesized model showed an
adequate fit to the data (v
=4.591 (4); p>0.05; CFI =0.99;
GFI =0.99; NFI =0.99; NNFI =0.99; RMSEA =0.01 [0.000–
0.079]). Fit indexes for the hypothesized model in separate
samples indicate that the model fits well for different games
(see Table 2).
The R
statistic indicated that 11.2% of the variance in
Socialization, 19.2% of the variance in Exploration, 16.7%
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics and Correlation Coefficients for the Massively Multiplayer
Online Games Motivations Scale (MMO-MS) and the Passion Scale
Mean SD a1234567
1 Socialization 10.74 4.40 0.815 — 0.317** 0.409** 0.247** 0.305** 0.184** 0.243**
2. Exploration 25.64 5.93 0.752 0.404** 0.123* 0.438** 0.072 0.327**
3. Achievement 18.00 7.32 0.815 0.385** 0.259** 0.342** 0.302**
4. Dissociation 20.94 8.93 0.835 0.137* 0.689** 0.541**
5. Harmonious passion 26.36 6.65 0.734 0.171** 0.422**
6. Obsessive passion 13.41 7.24 0.853 0.575**
7. Passion criteria 17.01 4.99 0.700
Correlation is significant at the *0.05 level (two-tailed); **0.001 level (two-tailed).
SD, standard deviation.
of the variance in Achievement, and 50.1% of the variance in
Dissociation were explained by the model.
As hypothesized, significant paths ( p<0.001) were ob-
served between HP and exploration (b=0.381), socialization
(b=0.190), and achievement (b=0.235). On the other hand,
significant paths were obtained between OP and dissocia-
tion (b=0.785), achievement (b=0.322), and socialization
Vallerand et al. proposed that passion may influence the
contextual–motivational processes that are central for un-
derstanding behavior,
and Wang et al. concluded that
passion could help our understanding of motivation in digital
However, to date, studies have not analyzed how
passions may affect people’s motivations when engaged in
playing MMORPGs. Thus, the major goal of the present
study was to analyze how passion relates to motives for
playing MMORPGs. As expected, results indicated that HP
was mainly positively related to exploration and socializa-
tion as well as achievement. On the other hand, OP was
mainly related to dissociation and achievement and weakly
to socialization.
These results suggest that both constructs—motivation
and passion—can be integrated into an explanatory model of
gaming behavior, in which HP and OP guide the various
motivations experienced while playing online gaming. Thus,
as expected, it was found that exploration, socialization, and
achievement are motivations triggered by HP, whereas those
of dissociation, achievement, and, to a lesser extent, social-
ization are experienced when engaging in MMORPGs out of
OP. So, as expected, HP facilitates the experience of more
adaptive forms of motivation, while OP leads to the expe-
rience of both adaptive (achievement and socialization) and
less adaptive (dissociation) forms of motivation.
These findings are in line with those of Wang et al., who
concluded that those players who form part of a guild ori-
ented toward social interaction are less likely to develop an
addiction to playing, something that is associated with an
Although MMORPGs represents an open experience
in which players direct their activity toward challenges that
can be either casual or more achievement oriented,
game is usually developed within the limits resulting from
the motivations implicit in its design—mainly socialization
and exploration, with achievement being secondary to these.
It may thus be inferred that forms of playing motivated by
socialization and exploration predict positive conse-
Unsurprisingly, Longman et al. concluded that
socialization in playing MMORPGs leads to greater well-
The relationship between OP and socialization can be
explained by a phenomenon observed by Shen and Williams
who found that despite socialization in MMORPG being a
positive factor, in some cases it could develop to a point
where players preferred online encounters to ‘‘face-to-face’’
In this way, users avoid physical relations and
satisfy their social needs through a virtual world. Moreover,
Snodgrass et al. claim that dissociation is part of MMORPGs
through what they term ‘‘technologies of absorption,’’
which may lead to either positive or negative effects de-
pending on the context in which the activity is engaged.
Thus, Griffiths and Wan and Chiou state that MMORPGs can
be used as a way of counteracting deficiencies in players’
lives, and therefore the need to avoid reality may be a need to
avoid problems that the player is unable or unwilling to
The present findings indicate that HP and OP both help to
predict different ways of engaging in MMORPGs. Thus, the
results are in line with those of Stoeber et al. and Wang and
and confirm that the Dualistic Model of Passion
helps to differentiate between two types of players who are
equally passionate about the game but who show different
motivational patterns and, as result, who experience different
consequences. HP is related to motivational forces to engage
voluntarily in an activity, where the player can control their
level of participation, display a flexible persistence, and
experience adaptive outcomes. OP can generate excitement
derived from engagement, but becomes overpowering and
difficult to regulate.
As a consequence, OP has been shown
to be associated with personal dissatisfaction, psychologi-
cal problems, behavioral problems, low self-realization, and
physical problems.
Thus, OP for online gaming pro-
motes online relationships but poorer outcomes.
However, our results support previous findings that have
evidenced the adaptive role of HP.
As Curran et al.
FIG. 2. Diagram of the conceptual model and the results
of path analysis.
Table 2. Fit of Path Models
(df) v
M1 30.66 (4)* 7.65 0.95 0.83 0.12 [0.08–0.17] 22.66
M2 4.59 (4) ns 1.14 0.99 0.99 0.01 [0.00–0.07] -3.40
M3 6.11 (4) ns 1.52 0.98 0.95 0.06 [0.00–0.15] -1.88
M4 2.60 (4) ns 0.65 1 1 0.00 [0.00–0.07] -5.39
Note. M1: In this model, HP have a direct pathway to exploration and socialization, and OP to achievement and dissociation; the four
motives are intercorrelated. M2: The proposed model. M3: The proposed model tested only with World of Warcraft players (n=131). M4:
The proposed model tested only with players of other MMORPGs (n=279). *p<0.05; ns, not significant.
argued, this can be understood in the sense of its potential for
mitigating negative effects. So, interventions could then
focus on using MMORPGs in coexistence with other so-
cialization and leisure activities. With regard to OP, it seems
to be related to maladaptive forms of gaming, dedicating a
high number of hours with the main interest being to escape
from reality. Thus, it that is not the number of hours played
per se that may be problematic with respect to MMORPGs
but the passion that fuels game playing. Given that features
of the subjective experience of gaming, such as presence,
flow, and immersion, may lead to negative outcomes,
their relationship with OP should be analyzed. Moreover,
because players who develop an OP for the game appear to
be unable to regulate the time they spend playing, in line
with Utz et al.’s suggestion, future research should assess
whether OP represents a screening tool for problematic
forms of play.
We note that these results have been ob-
tained on a sample of players of different MMORPGs, which
would validate the usefulness of the Dual Model of Passion
beyond specific games.
Certain limitations of the present study deserve to be
mentioned. One is that the data were cross-sectional. Clearly,
there is a need for longitudinal studies charting the evolution
of game playing motivation as a function of passion. Second,
it is not known whether the players with high scores for OP
were really addicted to the game. Given that the differenti-
ation between gaming addiction and high engagement is still
not clear, future studies should focus on this issue.
future research would do well to relate OP and addiction in
clinical samples.
Moreover, another limitation of this study was the fact that
females could not be taken into account in the data analyses.
Other researchers have determined that the video game
phenomenon is profoundly gendered, and the number of
male players is significantly greater than that of women.
Moreover, previous research with players has shown that
these differences are even greater among Spanish-speaking
MMORPG players, suggesting that this is due to the late
arrival of the MMORPG genre to the Spanish video game
Future research should take into consideration
achieving a representative female sample.
In conclusion, the passion–motivation model that was
empirically substantiated in the present research proposes a
framework and a context through which the gamer and his
activity can be understood in a more comprehensive fashion.
This research also suggests that the Dualistic Model of
Passion may be useful in designing programs to promote a
more adaptive way to engage in MMORPGs and, in turn, to
experience adaptive outcomes from one’s engagement in
such games.
Author Disclosure Statement
No competing financial interests exist.
1. Siwek S. (2010) Video games in the 21st century: the 2010
2010.pdf (accessed Mar. 2013).
2. Van Geel I. (2012) MMOData Charts versio
´n 3.3. (accessed Feb. 2013).
3. Fuster H, Carbonell X, Chamarro A, et al. Interaction with
the game and motivation among players of massively
multiplayer online role-playing games. Spanish Journal of
Psychology 2013; 16:1–8.
4. Meredith A, Hussain Z, Griffiths M. Online gaming: a
scoping study of massively multi-player online role playing
games. Electronic Commerce Research 2009; 9:3–26.
5. Billieux J, Channal J, Khazaal Y, et al. Psychological pre-
dictors of problematic involvement in massively multiplayer
online role-playing games: illustration in a sample of male
´players. Psychopathology 2011; 44:165–171.
6. Hussain Z, Griffiths MD. Excessive use of massively multi-
player online role-playing games: a pilot study. Interna-
tional Journal of Mental Health & Addiction 2009; 7:
7. Boyle EA, Connolly TM, Hainey T, et al. Engagement in
digital entertainment games: a systematic review. Compu-
ters in Human Behavior 2012; 28:771–780.
8. Graham KT, Gosling SD. Personality profiles associated
with different motivations for playing World of Warcraft.
CyberPsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking 2013;
9. Yee N. The demographics, motivations and derived expe-
riences of users of massively-multiuser online graphical
environments. Presence: Teleoperators & Virtual Environ-
ments 2006; 15:309–329.
10. Demetrovics Z, Urban R, Nagygyo
¨rgy K, et al. Why do you
play? The development of the motives for online gaming
questionnaire (MOGQ). Behavior Research Methods 2011;
11. Fuster H, Oberst U, Griffiths M, et al. Psychological mo-
tivation in online role-playing games: a study of Spanish
World of Warcraft players. Anales de Psicologı
´a 2012;
12. Cole H, Griffiths M. Social interactions in massively mul-
tiplayer online role playing games. CyberPsychology &
Behavior 2007; 10:575–583.
13. Ducheneaut N, Yee N. (2008) Collective solitude and so-
cial networks in World of Warcraft. In Romm-Livermore C,
Setzekorn S, eds. Social networking communities and
e-dating services: concepts and implications. New York:
Information Science Reference, pp. 78–100.
14. Ducheneaut N, Yee N, Nickell E, et al. (2006) Alone to-
gether? Exploring the social dynamics of massively mul-
tiplayer online games. Proceedings of CHI 2006. Montreal:
ACM Press, pp. 407–416.
15. Lortie C, Guitton M. Social organization in virtual settings
depends on proximity to human visual aspect. Computers in
Human Behavior 2011; 27:1258–1261.
16. Williams D, Ducheneaut N, Ciong L, et al. From tree house
to barracks: the social life of guilds in World of Warcraft.
Games & Culture 2006; 1:338–361.
17. Longman H, O’Connor E, Obst P. The effect of social
support derived from World of Warcraft on negative psy-
chological symptoms. CyberPsychology & Behavior 2009;
18. Vallerand R, Balanchard C, Mageau G, et al. Les passions
de l’a
ˆme: on obsessive and harmonious passion. Journal of
Personality & Social Psychology 2003; 85:756–767.
19. Lafrenie
`re M., Vallerand R., Donahue E, et al. On the costs
and benefits of gaming: the role of passion. CyberPsy-
chology & Behavior 2009; 12:285–290.
20. Stoeber J, Harvey M, Ward JA, et al. Passion, craving, and
affect in online gaming: predicting how gamers feel when
playing and when preventing from playing. Personality &
Individual Differences 2011; 51:991–995.
21. Utz S, Jonas KJ, Tonkens E. Effects of passion for massively
multiplayer online role-playing games on interpersonal rela-
tionships. Journal of Media Psychology 2012; 24:77–86.
22. Przybylski A, Weinstein N, Ryan R, et al. Having to versus
wanting to play: background and consequences of harmo-
nious versus obsessive engagement in video games. Cy-
berPsychology & Behavior 2009; 12:485–492.
23. Wang C, Chu Y. Harmonious passion and obsessive pas-
sion in playing online games. Social Behavior & Person-
ality 2007; 35:997–1006.
24. Wang C, Khoo A, Liu W, et al. Passion and intrinsic mo-
tivation in digital gaming. CyberPsychology & Behavior
2008; 11:39–45.
25. Wang C, Liu W, Chye S, et al. Understanding motivation in
internet gaming among Singaporean youth: the role of pas-
sion. Computers in Human Behavior 2011; 27:1179–1184.
26. Billieux J, et al. Why do you play World of Warcraft?An
in-depth exploration of self-reported motivations to play
online and in-game behaviours in the virtual world of
Azeroth. Computers in Human Behavior 2013; 1:103–109.
27. Vallerand RJ, Rousseau FL, Grouzet FME, et al. Passion in
sport: a look at determinants and affective experiences.
Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 2006; 28:454–478.
28. Vallerand RJ. From motivation to passion: in search of the
motivational processes involved in a meaningful life. Cana-
dian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne 2012; 53:43–52.
29. Philippe FL, Vallerand RJ, Houlfort N, et al. Passion for an
activity and quality of interpersonal relationships: the me-
diating role of emotions. Journal of Personality & Social
Psychology 2010; 98:917–932.
30. Vallerand R. (2010) On passion for life activities: the
Dualistic Model of Passion. In Zanna MP, ed. Advances in
experimental social psychology. New York: Academic
Press, vol. 42, pp. 97–193.
31. Hu L, Bentler PM. Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in co-
variance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new
alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling 1999; 6:1–55.
32. Westwood D, Griffiths M. The role of structural charac-
teristics in video-game play motivation: a Q-Methodology
study. CyberPsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking
2010; 13:581–585.
33. Shen C, Williams D. Unpacking time online: connecting
Internet and massively multiplayer online game use with
psychosocial well-being. Communication Research 2010,
34. Snodgrass J, Lacy M, Dengah F, et al. Magical flight and
monstrous stress: technologies of absorption and mental
wellness in Azeroth. Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry 2011;
35. Griffiths M. The role of context in online gaming excess
and addiction: some case study evidence. International
Journal of Mental Health & Addiction 2010; 8:119–125.
36. Wan C, Chiou W. Psychological motives and online games
addiction: a test of flow theory and humanistic needs theory
for Taiwanese adolescents. CyberPsychology & Behavior
2006; 9:317–324.
37. Wan C, Chiou W. Why are adolescents addicted to online
games? An interview study in Taiwan. CyberPsychology &
Behavior 2006; 9:762–766.
38. Vallerand R, Mageau GA, Elliot AJ, et al. Passion and
performance attainment in sport. Psychology of Sport &
Exercise 2008; 9:373–392.
39. Vallerand RJ, Miquelon P. (2007) Passion for sport in
athletes. In Lavalle
´e D, Jowett S, eds. Social psychology in
sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, pp. 249–262.
40. Curran Th, Appleton PR, Hill PR, et al. Passion and
burnout in elite junior soccer players: the mediating role of
self-determined motivation. Psychology of Sport & Ex-
ercise 2011; 12:655–661.
41. Hull DC, Williams GA, Griffiths, MD. Video game char-
acteristics, happiness and flow as predictors of addiction
among video game players: a pilot study. Journal of Be-
havioral Addictions 2013; 2:145–152.
42. Charlton JP, Danforth ID. Distinguishing addiction and
high engagement in the context of online game playing.
Computers in Human Behavior 2007; 23:1531–1548.
43. Mentzoni RA, Bronborg GS, Molde H, et al. Problematic
video game use: estimated prevalence and associations with
mental and physical health. CyberPsychology, Behavior, &
Social Networking 2011; 14:591–596.
Address correspondence to:
Dr. Andres Chamarro
Faculty of Psychology
Universitat Auto
´noma de Barcelona
B Building, Campus of Bellaterra
08193 Bellaterra
... Regarding the topic of self-esteem, one paper in particular [58] investigated gaming motivations to assess the construct of "Online Self Worth" by creating a specific scale, while the other paper [30] simply assessed self-esteem with an already existent tool. The remaining studies of this group focused on the association between gaming motivations and avatar identification [73], loss of control [41], boredom [41], success for gaming intended as ego or task-oriented scores in games [45], willingness to change gaming habits [70], passion [74], the flow state while playing the game [75], status seeking in games [75], attitude towards online games [55], emotional intelligence [53], personal gender variables attributes such as having negative masculine attributes or positive femenine attributes [76], social capital [48], life satisfaction [48], physical presence [46], self expansion [51], self-described attitude [34], mood [30], and self engulfment [51]. The fourth, and last, group is composed of "variables associated to the Gaming environment" that do not fit any group mentioned above since they relate to game aspects or particular settings where the gamers play their games. ...
... Greenberg et al. [47] found that both sexes tend to play for competition and challenge purposes. 9 studies confirmed that male tend to score higher on the competition motivation [22, 26-28, 38, 39, 47, 67, 71], with the exception of Greenberg et al. [44] who found a peculiarity with 5th grade 16 Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies 50 Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies 52 Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies 74 Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies 76 Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies 100 Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies 116 Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies Table 3: Main findings of each paper included with references, study limitations, and risk of biases. ...
... Fuster et al. [74]. Harmonious passion is positively correlated with exploration, socialization, and achievement. ...
Full-text available
Nowadays, video games are part of our everyday life, and the number of players is increasing each day passing by. Thus, understanding what motivations drive people to play video games is becoming a very important topic for researchers. That is why this systematic review had the objective to summarize the existing literature about gaming motivation by including papers that used a validated tool to do so while excluding those that did address just the psychopathological aspect of gaming. The systematic review was carried out through the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRSIMA). A total of 53 papers were included in this systematic review, and the findings revealed that nonaddicted players and addicted players seem both to play for social, achievement, and competition motivations. Male players appeared more oriented to play to compete with others, while female players seemed to use games for relationship and social reasons. Gaming motivation was stronger in younger people.
... Le modèle dualiste de la passion peut par ailleurs être discuté au regard de la théorie de l'autodétermination (Deci & Ryan, 2000). En outre, la théorie de l'autodétermination postule que la non-satisfaction de ces besoins est en évidence un lien entre la passion obsessive pour les jeux vidéo en ligne (MMORPG) et les motivations d'évitement (Fuster et al., 2014 ;Vallerand, 2015). Ce cadre théorique fournit en outre une grille de lecture pertinente pour comprendre les différences entre les profils motivationnels en termes de qualité de vie, malgré des pratiques tout aussi intensives qui ne peuvent être distinguées par les caractéristiques de leurs comportements de jeu. ...
Les travaux relatifs à la pratique intensive des jeux vidéo en ligne soulignent les possibles conséquences négatives associées à ces pratiques, fréquemment décrites en termes de dégradation de la qualité de vie (QdV). La nature et l’intensité de ces conséquences dépendraient de plusieurs déterminants individuels, et notamment des motivations à jouer. Opérationnalisant cette altération du fonctionnement associée à une perte de contrôle de l’activité de jeu, l’Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) a été introduit dans la section 3 du DSM-5 en 2013, faisant l’objet de controverses au sein de la communauté scientifique, dont la résonnance s’est amplifiée après l’inclusion par l’OMS du « trouble du jeu vidéo » (TJV) dans la CIM-11 en 2018. Bien que se distinguant sur le plan définitoire, plusieurs critiques ont été formulées à l’encontre de ces entités, notamment en ce qui concerne les risques de pathologisation et de stigmatisation d’usages normaux. Il est donc crucial de les distinguer des usages pathologiques, ainsi que d’en identifier les facteurs de risque et de protection. L’objectif de ce travail est donc d’identifier les déterminants psychologiques et comportementaux du TJV et de la QdV des joueurs, tant dans le cadre d’une approche transversale visant à identifier l’existence et le rôle de profils motivationnels, que dans une approche longitudinale visant à étudier la nature des liens entre patterns d’usage (symptômes du TJV et temps de jeu objectif) et QdV. Une première étude transversale a été réalisée auprès de joueurs ayant une pratique intensive des jeux vidéo en ligne, une analyse de classification hiérarchique a permis d’identifier 3 profils motivationnels distincts parmi lesquels, deux semblaient non problématiques (récréatif et compétitif), comparativement au troisième profil considéré à risque (évitant). Les résultats suggèrent que les scores d’IGD (critères DSM-5), ne permettent pas de différencier les joueurs à risque (évitants) de ceux dont l’engagement n’était pas associé à une dégradation de leur QdV (compétitifs). Les résultats soulignent l’importance de la prise en compte des motivations à jouer dans le cadre d’une approche centrée sur les personnes et d’une mesure du retentissement fonctionnel pour l’évaluation des problématiques d’usage. Une seconde étude longitudinale, réalisée auprès des joueurs les plus engagés dans un jeu vidéo en ligne, a ensuite proposé d’investiguer les liens inter- et intra-individuels entre patterns d’usage (symptômes du TJV et temps de jeu objectif) et QdV, tout en vérifiant si ces effets étaient différents en fonction des profils motivationnels. Les résultats confirment l’existence des trois clusters identifiés dans la première étude, et montrent la seule présence d’effets interindividuels entre symptômes du TJV et QdV. Ces résultats suggèrent que l’association parfois observée entre QdV et symptômes du TJV s’explique par des causes communes (tels que les traits de personnalité et l'impulsivité). Aucun effet n'a été constaté en ce qui concerne la relation entre temps de jeu objectif et QdV, soutenant la distinction importante entre usages intensifs sains et pathologiques. Enfin, ces résultats ne diffèrent pas selon les profils motivationnels. Nous concluons que les efforts en matière de prévention et de traitement devraient se concentrer sur ces causes communes et sur le profil motivationnel des joueurs. Des analyses ont ensuite été menées afin d’investiguer les déterminants des symptômes du TJV et de la QdV, permettant de montrer l’importance des facteurs psychologiques comparativement à ceux relatifs au comportement de jeu. L’ensemble de ces résultats permet d’envisager l’élaboration et l’évaluation de l’efficacité d’une intervention clinique ciblant les processus psychopathologiques associés aux causes communes identifiées, tout en proposant l’intégration d’outils de prévention au sein des jeux. Enfin, une discussion de l’ensemble de ces résultats est proposée.
... The present results support the notion that the type of passionate engagement with music appears more influential to the outcomes of music engagement than the valence of the music itself. Previous research has observed positive associations between harmonious passion and adaptive or protective outcomes for non-music activities that commonly hold negative public perceptions and have potentially negative outcomes, including gambling and computer gaming [41,42]. Furthermore, obsessive passion has been associated with maladaptive outcomes, such as increased negative affect, in activities commonly regarded as universally positive, such as yoga [43]. ...
Full-text available
While the benefits to mood and well-being from passionate engagement with music are well-established, far less is known about the relationship between passion for explicitly violently themed music and psychological well-being. The present study employed the Dualistic Model of Passion to investigate whether harmonious passion (i.e., passionate engagement that is healthily balanced with other life activities) predicts positive music listening experiences and/or psychological well-being in fans of violently themed music. We also investigated whether obsessive passion (i.e., uncontrollable passionate engagement with an activity) predicts negative music listening experiences and/or psychological ill-being. Fans of violently themed music (N = 177) completed the passion scale, scale of positive and negative affective experiences, and various psychological well- and ill-being measures. As hypothesised, harmonious passion for violently themed music significantly predicted positive affective experiences which, in turn, predicted psychological well-being. Obsessive passion for violently themed music significantly predicted negative affective experiences which, in turn, predicted ill-being. Findings support the Dualistic Model of Passion, and suggest that even when music engagement includes violent content, adaptive outcomes are often experienced. We propose that the nature of one’s passion for music is more influential in predicting well-being than the content or valence of the lyrical themes.
... Based on the study by Frostling-Henningsson (17), social aspects of playing (communication and cooperation), as well as escaping (avoiding problems) and seeking experience, are among the most important motivations for playing. Social motivations and the desire to establish friendly relations were among the factors that have been introduced in various texts as motivations for people to play (17,(31)(32)(33)(34). Also, Hsu and Lu (35) concluded that satisfaction of intrinsic motivations such as entertainment, curiosity, or the search for experience increases the commitment to play. ...
Full-text available
Objective: The growing popularity of computer games has attracted the attention of researchers in this field. The underlying psychological motives of gamers are important to prevention of disorders related to online gaming. This study was aimed at evaluating the psychometric characteristics of the Iranian version of the Motives for Online Gaming Questionnaire (I-MOGQ) and its association with Internet Gaming Disorders (IGD). Method: Four hundred and fifty-two Iranian adult gamers (mean age = 21.5 years, SD = 4.14) voluntarily responded to the anonymous survey online. All participants in this study were males. The questionnaires used in this study were MOGQ and IGD Scale. We performed confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for MOGQ. Also, the correlation between MOGQ and IGD was evaluated. Results: CFA supports the construct validity of the questionnaire (RMSEA < 0.08). Cronbach's alpha, as an indicator of internal consistency of the questionnaire, was 0.91 (Social = 0.85, Escape = 0.84, Competition = 0.83, Coping = 0.79, Skill Development = 0.89, Fantasy = 0.85 and Recreation = 0.83). Also, the scale displayed adequate convergent validity, as shown by significant positive correlations with IGD scores. The highest correlation was found with the Escape motive (0.57) and the lowest was found with Recreation (0.15). Conclusion: This study showed that the Iranian version of the MOGQ is a valid and reliable scale for identifying the motives for online gaming among young adults.
... People may be motivated to participate in video games by a variety of factors including socialisation, escapism, immersion, achievement and competition (Fuster et al., 2014;Garcia-Lanzo & Chamarro, 2018;Kahn et al., 2015). Electronic sports (esports) is a specific sub-category of video-gaming which involves individuals or teams of players who compete in video game competitions through human-computer interaction (Pluss et al., 2019;Pluss et al., 2020). ...
This study followed a longitudinal design to objectively monitor practice behaviors of professional and semi-professional esports players over a year. Publicly available data were collected from 30 male Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players (age: 23.76 ± 2.88y). Players were classified into two groups: professional (n = 18) or semi-professional (n = 12). The total hours of practice (all game-specific practice) and the competitive hours of practice (time spent in competitive modes only) were collected weekly. Generalised Estimating Equations were used to compare the practice behaviors of the two groups. Professional and semi-professional esports players completed an average of 30.9 ± 8.2 h and 24.7 ± 3.6 h per week of total game-specific practice, respectively, and 19.6 ± 6.9 and 15.0 ± 2.7 h of competitive practice, respectively. A significant week∗group interaction was observed for total practice time (Wald χ2 = 9.48, p = 0.002) and total competition practice time (Wald χ2 = 7.54, p = 0.006). Specifically, professional esports players completed 6.6 (SE = 2.2) hr per week more of total practice hours than semi-professional players, of which 4.8 (SE = 1.8) hr were competitive practice. This sample of expert esports performers complete high volumes of practice which can be monitored via publicly accessible repositories.
... Thus, while gaming might be growing more popular in general, people with different identities experience gaming differently. Existing literature on video games has often focused on sex and gender differences of players and their impact on different in-game behaviors, gaming habits, or problematic gaming effects (Fuster et al., 2014;Pawlikowski & Brand, 2011;Yee, 2006). One particular perspective in this research strand is that players of different sex and gender tend to attach various meanings to the games, which lead to different playing motivations and behaviors (Ghuman & Griffiths, 2012;Greenberg et al., 2010;Jansz et al., 2010;Kneer et al., 2019). ...
Full-text available
Introduction Existing research has focused on sex and gender to explain video games playing motivations and enjoyment. This study investigated gender traits and sexual orientation to further explain why people play games and what leads to gaming enjoyment. Methods Participants ( N = 198) answered questions on gender traits (positive/negative feminity/masculinity), gaming motivations, enjoyment, sexual orientation (32.0% of the sample belonged to the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community, later LGB community), and demographics. Results Only certain gender traits are linked to specific gaming motivations. Negative masculinity increased competence and relatedness while negative femininity decreased autonomy. Similar results were found for sexual orientation. LGB people showed less competence and intuitive control motivations. Additionally, LGB people spent more time playing video games than non-LGB people. They reported playing puzzles more as well. No other differences were found for game genre selection. Discussion The lack of differences based on sexual orientation and gender traits shows that video games offer an environment for everybody and thus have the potential to bring people together.
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) attract consumers looking for fun, experiences, and challenges. This research adopts an integrative perspective to focus on the gaming experience and its major components. This research studies how gaming affects real life and how real life affects virtual experience. We use in-depth interviews, a netnographic study, and a three-year ethnographic immersion. The results provide an overview of gamers’ consumption experience, its major components, and their links. MMORPGs appear to be a complex experience where virtual and real-life continuously interrelate. Gaming as a virtual experience affects gamers’ real lives (virtual realisation), and gamers’ real lives affect how they experience the game (real-world virtualisation). A significant contribution of our study is to show that gaming is not a process with clear, separated chronological steps. Gaming is an experience where boundaries between virtual and real-life are not delimited and where the virtual and real-life are far from disjointed experiences.
Full-text available
Based on the Dualistic Model of Passion (Vallerand et al., 2003), a sequence involving the determinants and affective experiences associated with two types of passion (harmonious and obsessive) toward sport was proposed and tested. This sequence posits that high levels of sport valuation and an autonomous personality orientation lead to harmonious passion, whereas high levels of sport valuation and a controlled personality orientation facilitate obsessive passion. In turn, harmonious passion is expected to lead to positive affective experiences in sport but to be either negatively related or unrelated to negative affective experiences. Conversely, obsessive passion is hypothesized to be positively related to negative affective experiences in sport but to be either negatively related or unrelated to positive affective experiences. Results of three studies conducted with recreational and competitive athletes involved in individual and team sports provided support for the proposed integrative sequence. These findings support the role of passion in sport and pave the way to new research.
Full-text available
Aims: Video games provide opportunities for positive psychological experiences such as flow-like phenomena during play and general happiness that could be associated with gaming achievements. However, research has shown that specific features of game play may be associated with problematic behaviour associated with addiction-like experiences. The study was aimed at analysing whether certain structural characteristics of video games, flow, and global happiness could be predictive of video game addiction. Method: A total of 110 video game players were surveyed about a game they had recently played by using a 24-item checklist of structural characteristics, an adapted Flow State Scale, the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire, and the Game Addiction Scale. Results: The study revealed decreases in general happiness had the strongest role in predicting increases in gaming addiction. One of the nine factors of the flow experience was a significant predictor of gaming addiction - perceptions of time being altered during play. The structural characteristic that significantly predicted addiction was its social element with increased sociability being associated with higher levels of addictive-like experiences. Overall, the structural characteristics of video games, elements of the flow experience, and general happiness accounted for 49.2% of the total variance in Game Addiction Scale levels. Conclusions: Implications for interventions are discussed, particularly with regard to making players more aware of time passing and in capitalising on benefits of social features of video game play to guard against addictive-like tendencies among video game players.
Full-text available
Game research suffers from using a variety of concepts to predict the (often negative) effects of playing games. These concepts often overlap (e.g., addiction or pathological gaming), include negative consequences in their definition, or are very game-specific (e.g., collective play). We argue that the field would benefit from using concepts that are well-established in other domains. Extending earlier work to the interpersonal domain, we examined the effects of obsessive and harmonious passion for massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) on the number and quality of online and offline friendships. Obsessive passion describes an irrepressible urge to engage in an activity, whereas harmonious passion describes the voluntary engagement in an activity. In an online survey of 406 MMORPG players, we found differential relationships between obsessive and harmonious passion and the number and quality of online and offline friendships. The results confirmed the usefulness of the dualistic model of passion for consequences of online gaming.
Full-text available
In this address, I present an overview of research on motivational processes that has been conducted by my research team over the past 30 years. Such research subscribes to an organismic view of human motivation wherein people are seen as active agents who strive to fulfill their potential. Four lines of research are briefly presented: (a) the role of social factors in intrinsic motivation; (b) the determinants and outcomes of motivational processes in real-life settings; (c) an integrative perspective on the role of personality, task, and social factors in motivational processes and outcomes (the hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation); and (d) a new perspective on passion for life activities (the dualistic model on passion). Key studies are highlighted and some conclusions are drawn.
Full-text available
Knowledge about users interacting with Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) is fundamental in order to prevent their potential negative effects on behavior. For this reason, the present study analyzed the relationship between styles of play and motivations. An online questionnaire asking for socio-demographic details, playing style, characteristics of the game played and motivations for playing, was answered by 430 Spanish-speaking MMORPG players (45.1% males). The identified profile for players, far away from the stereotype of an adolescent, consisted in a person who mainly plays on PvP (Player versus Player) servers, choosing the type of game according to his experience. Regarding motivations, they were interested in relating with other players through the game (Socialization), in discovering the game's possibilities and development of its adventures (Exploration), to a lesser extent in leadership and prestige (Achievement) and, lastly, identification with an avatar and escape from reality (Dissociation). Although part of the reason for playing was escapism and/or stress relief, the main motivation had a social nature. We conclude that MMORPG offer an attractive environment for a broad spectrum of people, and we have not been able to confirm the stereotype of a loner avoiding reality, taking refuge in games.
Full-text available
This research assesses Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in a Spanish sample of adolescent cancer survivors, and analyzes the relationship between HRQoL, coping styles and physical exercise. Forty-two survivors (12-19 years), who were ≥ 1 year of remission, completed standardized measures of HRQoL (CHIP-AE), coping strategies (ACS) and physical exercise (AECEF). Mean scores in all HRQoL domains were within normative values. Multiple regression analysis revealed that physical exercise and productive coping were related to higher HRQoL, whereas non-productive coping was related to lower HRQoL. This sample of survivors reported good levels of HRQoL, which are mediated by coping styles and physical exercise.
Full-text available
Objectives: To test a performance-attainment model derived from the Dualistic Model of Passion [Vallerand et al. (2003). Les passions de l'âme: On obsessive and harmonious passion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 756-767] that posits that both harmonious and obsessive passions are positive predictors of deliberate practice that, in turn, is a positive predictor of performance. Design: A prospective design was used in the present study. Methods and results: The basic model was tested in two studies using structural equation modeling. Results from Study 1 with 184 high school basketball players indicated that both harmonious and obsessive passions were positive predictors of deliberate practice, which, in turn, was a positive predictor of objective performance. The results of Study 2, conducted with 67 synchronized swimming and water-polo athletes conceptually replicated those from Study 1. Furthermore, results differentially linked the two passions to achievement goals and subjective well-being (SWB). Specifically, harmonious passion was a positive predictor of mastery goal pursuit and SWB, whereas obsessive passion was a positive predictor of mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goal pursuit and was unrelated to SWB. Mastery goals were positive predictors of deliberate practice, which was a direct positive predictor of performance, whereas performance-avoidance goals were direct negative predictors of performance. Conclusions: It appears that there are two paths to high-level performance attainment in sport, depending if harmonious or obsessive passion underlies sport engagement. While the path from harmonious passion is conducive to high levels of performance and living a happy life, that from obsessive passion is less reliably related to performance attainment and is unrelated to happiness.
Full-text available
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are one of the most interesting innovations in the area of online computer gaming. This pilot study set out to examine the psychological and social effects of online gaming using an online questionnaire with particular reference to excessive and ‘dependent’ online gaming. A self-selecting sample of 119 online gamers ranging from 18 to 69 years (mean = 28.5 years) completed the questionnaire. The results showed that 41% of gamers played online to escape and 7% of gamers were classified as ‘dependent’ individuals who were at risk of developing a psychological and behavioural dependence for online gaming using an adapted ‘addiction’ scale. Further analysis showed that excessive online gaming was significantly correlated with psychological and behavioural ‘dependence’. It was also found that ‘dependent’ gamers appear to possess some core components of addiction to MMORPGs (e.g., mood modification, tolerance and relapse).
This chapter investigates the nature and structure of social networks formed between the players of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), an incredibly popular form of Internet-based entertainment attracting millions of subscribers. To do so, we use data collected about the behavior of more than 300,000 characters in World of Warcraft (the most popular MMOG in America). We show that these social networks are often sparse and that most players spend time in the game experiencing a form of "collective solitude": they play surrounded by, but not necessarily with, other players. We also show that the most successful player groups are analogous to the organic, team-based forms of organization that are prevalent in today's workplace. Based on these findings, we discuss the relationship between online social networks and "real-world" behavior in organizations in more depth.